Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons embarked on a five-year mission to raise £1.8m for local charities and good causes as part of their 2022 festival.
Since 2017 members from around the two counties have been digging deep to find innovative and spectacular ways of raising money in order reach their challenging target. These efforts included sponsored cycle rides and walks, summer fetes and raffles, hill climbing and sky diving, and sportsman's dinners featuring Brian Moore, Phil Tufnell and Kevin Keegan.
If the target was not challenging enough, the lockdown period we all found ourselves in made it even more difficult to get out and about in the aid of charity. The Festival committee took the decision to continue with the fundraising efforts and not ask for an adjustment or extension of the target.
The culmination of this fundraising period was a gathering of Freemasons and their partners at the Leicester Tigers ground on Welford Road, where an evening of entertainment followed the reveal of the grand total achieved. To assist with the celebrations, the United Grand Lodge of England was represented by the Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton, and members of the Masonic Charitable Foundation led by Les Hutchinson.
Dale Page in his capacity as chairman of the 2022 Festival was keen to thank all members who had taken on the challenge, as well as the other members of the fundraising committee, namely Phil Caswell, Simon Oldfield, Andy Green, Richard Barnett, Freddie Harris, Steve Skidmore, Ian Nesbitt, John Peberdy, Mark Pierpoint and Rick Morris as well as the Provincial Grand Master Peter Kinder.
The guest for the evening, Sir David Wootton oversaw revealing the grand total raised, as onlookers waited to see if the target of £1.8m had been achieved. The big screen on the stage revealed the final amount raised to be a fantastic £2,022,000 which was accompanied by fireworks and music.
The Provincial Grand Master of Leicestershire & Rutland Peter Kinder said 'I would like to thank Dale and his committee for all their hard work over the last few years to raise an amazing amount of money for local charities and good causes. I would also like to thank all of the Freemasons from around the county who have given up their time to take to their bikes, to the hills, and to the skies in the aid of charity.'